Online Sport Editor Alex Bonner analyses Liverpool’s, Chelsea’s and Manchester City’s chances of claiming the Premier League title:
Liverpool (Current position – First, 71 points)
Liverpool’s consistency, throughout the season’s duration, has been remarkable, and has seen them climb to the summit of the league on more than one occasion this season. The Red’s, recently, have managed to accumulate an incredible 35 points from a possible 39 which, in part, can be attributed to Liverpool’s strike duet. Both Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suárez have excelled this season, with their partnership arguably the strongest, and most feared, in the league. Suárez has been the standout player of the season, with the Uruguayan accumulating an impressive 29 goals in the league thus far. Poyet’s claim that Liverpool would be a “mid-table” team without Luis Suárez is surely an exaggeration but, with the Uruguayan, Brendan Rodgers’s side seem irresistible and certainly amongst the best in the league.
The Red’s most recent win against Spurs demonstrated how far Liverpool have come under Brendan Rodgers. Liverpool were helped by a poor Spurs outfit, but Liverpool boss Rodgers still had to employ the right tactics to win the game. With only six league games left to play, Liverpool are surely a genuine title contender. Liverpool have two defining home games to come, in the form of Chelsea and Manchester City. The results from these two games are likely to be pivotal, and will likely shape the eventual course of the title race.
Liverpool v Man City, 13th April
Liverpool v Chelsea, 27th April
(Predicted finish – Third)
Chelsea (Current position – Second, 69 points)
Chelsea’s title challenge has suffered some major blows of late, as evidenced most recently by their surprise 1-0 loss at the hands of Crystal Palace. Chelsea’s performance against Palace was a stark contrast to the level of performance delivered against Arsenal, which culminated in a 6-0 win for the Blues. Indeed, Chelsea’s inability to maintain a level of consistency, as evidenced by their result at Palace, may prove decisive at this point in the season. José Mourinho’s team, as a result of faltering form, may now be considered third favourites for the title.
The Blues need to win at least four of their remaining six games to have any chance of claiming the coveted Premier League title this season. Chelsea have a tough fixture to come in the form of Liverpool away, but all of their remaining fixtures, apart from this, look distinctly winnable. Expect Chelsea to respond strongly to their loss at Crystal Palace and, with José Mourinho, they have a manager accustomed to winning.
Swansea v Chelsea, 13th April
Liverpool v Chelsea, 27th April
(Predicted finish – Second)
Manchester City (Current position – Third, 67 points)
City have remained title favourites throughout the entirety of this Premier League season. Their squad is certainly the strongest out of the top four, which will likely prove pivotal, as well as decisive, in the season’s latter stages. City’s powerful midfield quartet, with Yaya Touré the most prominent member, have continued to dominate their Premier League opponents all season. Much will depend on City’s trip to Anfield but, if they avoid defeat on either of their two remaining trips to Merseyside, they should boast a sufficient goal difference to severely challenge for the title.
The Sky Blues are in a uniquely strong position at this point in the season. City’s exit from the Champions League means they can focus entirely on challenging for the title. This is a luxury Chelsea, at present, can’t boast. In addition, City have games in hand over their opponents, giving them a good chance of closing the gap with both Chelsea and Liverpool. With a favourable run-in, and soon to be boosted by the return to fitness of Sergio Agüero, City must be regarded as the clear frontrunners to regain the title from their Manchester rivals.
Liverpool v Manchester City, 13th April
Everton v Manchester City, 3rd May
(Predicted finish – First)bookmark me